Saturday, December 03, 2011


We're refinancing the house. Y'know, lower interest rates these days, and all. So yesterday I'm talking to the mortgage officer. When he called, he inquired about the back side of a document, of which I'd forwarded only the front side. My very long phone cord, attached to the landline telephone which is attached to the kitchen wall, allows me to reach most of the rooms in the house, albeit only into the doorways of the furthest rooms. So I'm stretching the cord, stretching my arm, but I still can't quite reach the desk with the pertinent sheet of paper. "Excuse me, I'll need to put down the phone a minute. It doesn't reach far enough. I'll be right back."

(Moving to a new subject, but --hang on-- it's not irrelevant...)
Yesterday's mail brought another pile of paperwork for the refinancing, including the appraisal on the house. (Good news: the house has lost only 13% of its value over the last four years. Given what some people have experienced in this economy, that's not bad at all.) Looking over the appraiser's notes, I noticed this: "Dated kitchen and bathrooms. General lack of interior cosmetic updating."

I laughed! How often I complain that our society isn't comfortable with nice, normal, functional rooms, but we must always be remodeling and updating and trying to keep up with whatever the interior decorators tell us is stylish. "Dated kitchen." Heck, yeah! And what would we do to cosmetically update the interior anyhow? Raising the roof 4-10' isn't feasible. Restructuring the interior walls isn't either. Is it that terrible that my house built in the 60s looks like a 40-yr-old house?

Just about at that moment, I remembered the phone call in the afternoon. "Excuse me. I'll need to put down the phone. It doesn't reach far enough." Whoa! That comment revealed something definitely "outdated."

There are some young people who might not even understand what my sentence meant.

Muddy, Black Water

Do normal people shampoo the floor mats in their cars?

Maybe I've been perpetually neglecting a basic task. I've been getting the van ready to sell: finding the loose change, removing the myriads of maps, cleaning out the glove compartment, vacuuming. While vacuuming, I noticed some doozy stains on the floor mats. I'd really like to advertise this old van as "clean." So it crossed my mind to use some Resolve stain remover and then to wash them. Scrub brush. Bath tub. Lots of water. Black black black water running down the drain. (I hope I didn't plug up the septic system with mud!) Lather; rinse; repeat. Squeegee the water off the mats. Sore muscles and tired arms.

How many years will it take for these things to dry?

And the $64,000 question -- Ought I do the same thing for the middle-aged cars before they get old, before the mats become even dirtier than they are now? And if I ought, ... will I?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Santa and Jesus

Later than all retail stores, and later even than the other branches of our bank, our branch's Christmas music finally hit the airwaves this week. I've been finding it harder to work when there's really good music playing. Paying attention to my transactions and other duties interrupts [gasp] the preaching of the Gospel which flows forth in "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful." Yes, there's some "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" and I even had to endure "Santa Baby" a couple of times. But the majority of our Christmas music is Julie Andrews and Bing Crosby and friends singing hymns. At one point, I heard "pleased as Man with man to dwell" four times in one hour this week -- and I am certainly okay with that.

But eventually something crossed my mind. The Santa songs are there too. Do my customers and my co-workers think that the Santa songs and the Jesus songs are same thing: songs about those mythical Christmas-story-dudes which we sing just because we like the sentimentality of it all?

I hope they're listening.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Extreme Domesticity

Lora linked to an article about the younger generation discovering do-it-yourself domestic pursuits. Katie and Rachel fit in the age-range for these women who are cooking, baking bread, mending, knitting, gardening, healing with herbs, etc. But they're not blundering about, trying to figure out these domestic matters, almost as if they're spiting the feminism that was foisted upon them by my generation. Because I taught them a lot of these skills, and I sure didn't foist feminism upon them!

After reading the article, I still can't figure out if I'm avant garde or if I'm hopelessly old-fashioned. Not that it matters much, especially if those two are merging into the same thing these days.

I find it terribly amusing.